Feeling of sadness is as natural to humans as breathing or sleeping. Nobody can be happy all the time and melancholy is not uncommon either in response to life events or just seemingly out of nowhere. But sometimes sadness is not just sadness and knowing warning signs is important to prevent it to escalating to deep depression. Here are some signs that may indicate that the sadness may be something more serious.

1.)  Some unhappiness may be natural, unavoidable, or even expected. However if it persists through the day on most days, it may be a sign of depression. Feeling of emptiness, low mood, hopelessness, and irritability may also be indication of trouble.

2.) Seriously diminished level of interest in things previously enjoyed and lack of pleasure are also signs of depression. Depressed people frequently abandon their hobbies, stop exercising, and pull away from their friends and family. This behavior further deepens feelings of sadness, loneliness, and despair.

3.) Feeling of excessive or inappropriate guilt or worthlessness nearly every day is not uncommon for depressed people. Many times this guilt stems from the dropped performance at work or school due to the lack of motivation, interest, and energy. Additionally some may feel guilty for withdrawing from their friends and family.

4.) Decrease in energy due to the depression can make even simple tasks seem impossible. While nobody likes doing laundry, for depressed people it may become an insurmountable challenge. As chores pile up, more and more mental, physical, and emotional energy is required to deal with them, making it a lot less likely that the depressed individual will be able to perform these tasks.

5.) Poor concentration, feeling foggy minded, forgetful, and difficulty in making decisions can impact all aspects of one’s life. School and work performance may drop as a result and even deciding what to eat may become an impossible task.

6.) Some people may feel agitated and unable to sit still. Others may feel very slowed, as if the weight of their entire world is resting on their shoulders. People around depressed individuals may observe them moving slower than usual, spacing out, or taking a lot longer to complete tasks than in the past.

7.) Poor sleep is one of the hallmark features of depression. Ruminations on perceived failures, thoughts of doom and gloom, and worries about the future can keep depressed people awake. Early morning awakening is also frequently seen in depression. Some depressed individuals, however, may find themselves sleeping a lot more than usual and having difficulty getting out of bed.

8.) Changes in appetite and weight are not uncommon in depressed people. Some may lose appetite while some may eat more and gain weight. This in turn can have serious negative impact on physical health and self-esteem.

9.) At some point depression may get so severe that some feel their lives are no longer worth living. If that happens, seeking professional help is extremely important. Suicide hotlines are available nationwide and are easy to find by utilizing any search engine. National Suicide Hotline is available 24/7 and can be reached at 1-800-273-8255. Calling 911 or going to the nearest Emergency Department are also some ways of getting help. Anyone who broke their leg would not think twice about getting emergency medical help, and neither should one who is having severe depression and suicidal thoughts.

Just as there are no two people who are exactly alike, no depression is exactly the same. It is very important to seek professional help if any of these symptoms are causing difficulties in everyday life. Untreated depression can result in loss of relationships, difficulties at work or school, and substance abuse. Depression is a treatable condition and many options are available. With the appropriate help it is possible to recover from depression and live the fulfilled and healthy life you deserve.